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Problems with free upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1

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My mum made the mistake of allowing herself to be tricked into providing remote access to her laptop by cybercriminals. I reset the computer to factory settings and flushed the BIOS. Next I tried to upgrade to 8.1, but I first needed to install some updates (particularly KB2871389) in order for the upgrade to appear in the Windows' Store. I first went the whole hog and installed all the updates available, even though I only really wanted to replace the OS. That took all night long.

On attempting to upgrade to Windows 8.1, after a few seconds into the process, a very descriptive message appeared saying 'Something went wrong . . .'. Having failed to download the upgrade several times, I started reading some hacks. I deleted all the contents of the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder, as some people had suggested, but that failed. After two days of struggling, I decide to get the installation media using Microsoft's mediacreationtool - not so obvious, but I eventually found it. The burned iso image wouldn't accept the Windows 8 key. I have since discovered that you can only register Windows 8.1 using a Windows 8 key, but apparently you can't install it using the same key. The original Windows 8.1, which had been on the system previously, had used an identical key to Windows 8 after the reset, so I didn't envisage any problems.

Some pages and earlier solutions to this (or related problems) seem to have been replaced (or removed) by Microsoft. I'm scratching my head wondering if there's a problem with my NAT router (although I doubt this would affect the Windows' Store upgrade method). I'm currently stuck and I was hoping someone might have some ideas. I'm not sure what else to try. Thanks!

Edited by czardas
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can you use DISM and roll the key into that image?  If the issue is WAT (or network related) then it should reappear in the audit pass, if the issue was some crap upgrade leftovers then they should disappear.

Edited by iamtheky
said WGA meant WAT

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Thanks, that's good to know. Unfortunately I don't have Windows 10 or 8.1 on another system, which appears to be a requirement. I think I'm just going to purchase a Windows 10 licence. I like the look of Windows 10 and I think they would benefit from using Cortana (as an assistive technology). My step dad can hardly spell, let alone type. Windows 10 is still free for people who use assistive technologies, but you need to have Windows 7 or 8.1 installed to get it.

Edited by czardas
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  • 2 weeks later...
37 minutes ago, czardas said:

Thanks @MattHiggs I'm afraid I can't. I installed Windows 10 on it and the laptop has now been returned.

Well, as far as the laptop being returned, it can't be helped.  But Windows 10 being installed on the device is not an issue. If the device originally had Windows 8 or greater installed on it, then its product key is embedded in the BIOS, and a valid Windows 7 or 8 product key will also activate Windows 10 (free upgrade period).  What this script does (I had to use it to activate Windows 10 for a deployment project that I was working on for a client and works like a charm) is query the embedded product key from the BIOS using Wmi, then it will take the product key, install it, then activate Windows with it.  You may not remember, but during the Windows 10 installation, you were not given an option to select which version of Windows 10 you wanted to install (Home or Pro), right?  That was because the installer looked at the product key embedded in the bios, and installed the version of Windows 10 that matched the version of Windows 8 associated with the embedded key.  

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  • 8 months later...

I know This is an Old Topic but it really doesn't have a satisfactory answer

What you actually need to do is to use A KMS Client Key for 8.1 at the initial install and then enter your Windows 8 key at the activation screen after first boot

Here is a document listing all the MS Kms Client Keys


Install 8.1 with a win8 key
KMS Client Setup Key 
Windows 8.1 Professional KMS Key   

Edited by Bilgus
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  • 1 year later...
  • Developers
1 hour ago, Seemyu said:

that is a bad lucky

Sure "bad lucky to you too" .... and what made you decide to make this none contributing post here?


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  • 1 month later...
On 7/5/2019 at 6:49 PM, Seemyu said:

The upgrade from Window 7 to Windows 10 just failed,that is a bad lucky.

Failed twice,although Microsoft has some bugs,but i don't think it is hard to do that.



It is best to make a backup of your computer before then.

Edited by Justsoit
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